2015 Q4 Wine Reviews By Oz

A summary of Oz’s Wine Reviews from October, November and December of 2015.

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December 2015

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1 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve

Vintage: NV
Region: Champagne France
Varietal: Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier
Alcohol: 12.5%
Format: Magnum
Colour: Pale yellow
Bubbles: Fine bead
Aroma: Green Apple and peaches
Flavour: Green apple, citrus and lime
Finish: Medium to long

Amazingly there were still magnums of this left!! Great NV, one of the best around!
2 Domaine Testut Chablis Premier Cru "Montee de Tonnerre"

Vintage: 2013
Region: Chablis Burgundy, France
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol:
Colour: Straw yellow
Aroma: Mineral and citrus
Flavour: Lemon and citrus with a bit of minerality
Finish: Medium to long

A very enjoyable Chablis. Surprised how much I liked it!
3 Domaine Chappelle St Victor Provence Rose

Vintage: 2013
Region: Provence, France
Varietal: 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah
Alcohol: 12.5%
Colour: Light pink
Aroma: Raspberries and strawberries
Flavour: Berries and green apple with a bit of minerality
Finish: Medium to long

A very refreshing Rose, would have gone well with the halibut, but we had already eaten that by the time this was served!!
4 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2013
Region: Bannockburn Otago, New Zealand
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.5%
Colour: Bright, deep ruby
Aroma: Wild berries and plums
Flavour: Medium bodied, berries, plums and subtle spices
Tannins: Fine
Finish: Long

A light-ish Pinot Noir, nicely balanced, great finish. A bit young, should evolve very nicely, hopefully will get to give this a go towards the end of the decade and probably in the next!
5 Clarendon Hills Hickenbotham Cabernet

Vintage: 2006
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.5%
Colour: Garnet
Aroma: Blackberry and spice
Flavour: Full bodied, blackberry and spice
Tannins: Balanced
Finish: Long

Another great McLaren Vale Red, still evolving, another 5 - 10 years and this should be a very special wine.
6 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

Vintage: 2004
Region: Canberra, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz, 7% Viognier
Alcohol: 14%
Colour: Deep Garnet
Aroma: Stone fruit, blackberry and pepper
Flavour: Full bodied, blackberry and pepper
Tannins: Silky
Finish: Long

A very balanced and elegant wine, can see why it was included on the list of the WEA Favourites for 2015
7 Grant Burge Meshach

Vintage: 2008
Region: Barossa Valley Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 14%
Format: Magnum
Colour: Deep Garnet
Aroma: Blackberry, vanilla, dark chocolate and pepper
Flavour: Full bodied, blackberry, pepper and spice
Tannins: Bold
Finish: Long

Great wine, still way way to young, this needs at least another 10 years before it hits it peak, probably 15 - 20 in a magnum.


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2 Arlaux Premier Cru Brut Grande Cuvee

Vintage: NV
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: 60% Pinot Meunier, 40% Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 12.5%

Have had this a few times now and have always enjoyed it. A good go to for bubbles, not overly expensive but still a high quality NV Champagne
3 Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut

Vintage: NV
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay
Alcohol: 12%
4 Felton Road

Vintage: 2011
Region: Bannockburn Central Otago, New Zealand
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14%
5 Tyrrell's Wines Vat 47

Vintage: 2008
Region: Hunter Valley, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 12.5%

A good example of what Aussie Chardonnay should be, not over powering on the nose or palate. Still developing, should evolve into a great wine in few more years.
6 Giaconda

Vintage: 2001
Region: Beechworth, Australia
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.5%
Format: Magnum

My contribution to the night, still very youthful. Surprised a lot of people that it was a Pinot, lots dark fruit and berries, balanced with a long finish. Even though it was in a magnum it disappeared way to quickly. Definitely one to add to the must have again list.
7 Gambert de Loche Hermitage

Vintage: 1995
Region: Rhone Valley, France
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 13%

Lots of fruit, nice balance, elegant tannins, long finish.
8 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm

Vintage: 2006
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 14.5%

Way too young, but still a good drop. According to some experts the peak of this wine maybe 2030.
9 Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay

Vintage: 2007
Region: Volnay Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13%

Great deep colour, a balanced wine with fine tannins and an enjoyable long finish!
10 Domaine Joseph Voillot Les Rugiens Pommard 1er Cru

Vintage: 2007
Region: Southern Rhône, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13%

A very structured, balanced wine, nice nose, long finish. Enjoyable!
11 Klein Constantia Vin De Constance

Vintage: 2005
Region: Constantia Western Cape, South Africa
Varietal: Muscat de Frontignan
Alcohol: 12.3%

What a great wine, my first sticky from South Africa and will not be my last. Love the golden colour, great nose, balanced acid with a long finish. Can't wait to have this again.


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1 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve

Vintage: NV
Region: Champagne France
Varietal: Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier
Alcohol: 12.5%
Format: Magnum (4 of them)
2 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series

Vintage: 2009
Region: Margaret River, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14.5%
Format: Magnum
3 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series

Vintage: 2012
Region: Margaret River, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14%
Format: Half bottle (750ml)
4 Giaconda Estate

Vintage: 2004
Region: Beechworth, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 15%
Format: Magnum
5 Pierro

Vintage:
Region: Margret River, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14%
Format: Half bottle (750ml)
6 Burch Family Howard Park Abercrombie

Vintage: 2007
Region: 91% Mt Barker, Great Southern; 9% Yallingup, Margaret River, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14%
Format: Magnum
7 Burch Family Howard Park Abercrombie

Vintage: 2009
Region: Mount Barker, Great Southern 53%, Margaret River 47%, Australia
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 13.5%
Format: Magnum
8 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm

Vintage: 2006
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Alcohol: 14.5%
Format: Magnum

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often vines affected are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity
9 Hewitson Private Cellar

Vintage: 2005
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz Mourvedre
Alcohol: 14.5%
Format: Magnum
10 Hewitson Private Cellar

Vintage: 2006
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz Mourvedre
Alcohol: 14%
Format: Magnum


November 2015

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1 Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc

Vintage: 2013
Region: Margaret River, Australia
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Colour: Bright straw
Nose: Citrus and passionfruit
Flavour: Citrus and passionfruit
Finish: Medium
Alcohol: 13.2%

An okay wine, nothing special, but still a decent drink
2 Tapanappa Tiers

Vintage: 2007
Region: Piccadilly Valley, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Colour: Bright gold
Nose: Balanced blend of lemon, vanilla and oak
Flavour: Elegant combination of lemon, vanilla, oak and mineral
Finish: Long
Alcohol: 13.5%

I am not a chardonnay fan, but for Tiers I will always join the bandwagon. Great wine, definitely will have this again (if I am offered)
3 Brokenwood Semillon

Vintage: 2002
Region: Hunter Valley, Australia
Varietal: Semillon
Colour: Youthful pale gold
Nose: Refreshing combination of lemon zest and lime
Flavour: Balanced crisp blend of lemon and lime
Finish: Medium

Another great Hunter Valley Semillon, as Hunter Semillons age they evolve into something very special, this will be no different. Still young and vibrant, another 10 years and who knows how great it will be
4 Terrabianca Campaccio

Vintage: 1993
Region: Toscana IGT, Italy
Varietal: 70% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Colour: Dusty garnet
Nose: Full-bodied combination of earthy, eucalyptus and black pepper aromas
Flavour: Bold blend of eucalyptus and black pepper
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Medium - long

A great start to the reds, nicely balanced, liked the tannins
5 Veglio Barolo

Vintage: 1994
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Varietal: Nebbiolo
Colour: Dusty garnet
Nose: Full-bodied, cigar and black pepper
Flavour: Complex, balanced blend of cold tea and herbs
Tannin: Silky
Finish: Long
Alcohol:

A wine with a lot of life in it, I am still learning about Barolo, enjoyed it a lot. Will be getting more of this if I can.
6 Moccagatta Bric Balin Barbaresco

Vintage: 2000
Region: Barbaresco DOCG, Italy
Varietal: Nebbiolo
Colour: Bright deep garnet
Nose: Full-bodied spice and black pepper blend
Flavour: Full-bodied combination of black pepper, wild berries and spice
Tannin: Structured
Finish: Medium - long
Alcohol: 14%

Great wine, liked the aromas, full-bodied with a medium to long finish
7 Château Saint-Pierre Saint-Julien Grand Cru Classé

Vintage: 1990
Region: Saint-Julien, France
Varietal: 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot
Colour: Light ruby, still quite bright
Nose: Complex blend of spice, liquorice and cedar
Flavour: Balanced blend of cedar and spice
Tannin: Silky
Finish: Medium - long

Full-bodied, has aged gracefully
8 Gaja Sito Moresco Rosso

Vintage: 2005
Region: Langhe, Piedmont, Italy
Varietal: 35% Nebbiolo, 35% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Colour: Garnet
Nose: Pleasant blend of cherry, oak and spice
Flavour: Cheery, oak and spice
Tannin: Fine
Finish: Medium - long

Gaja is one of everyone's favourite Italian producers, this was the first time I had tried this wine, a good drop, well worth a try
9 Paolo Scavino Barolo

Vintage: 2004
Region: Barolo, Italy
Varetial: Nebbiolo
Colour: Bright garnet
Nose: Medium-bodied wild berry and spice blend
Flavour: Balanced combination of berries and spices
Tannin: Firm
Finish: Medium - long
Alcohol: 14.5%

2004 was apparently a good year for wine in Italy, this wine was evidence of this, another good drop
10 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2010
Region: Nappa Valley, USA
Varetial: Cabernet Sauvignon
Colour: Vivid deep crimson
Nose: Big blend of blackcurrant, cherries, plum and spice
Flavour: Balanced blackcurrant, plum, cherries, spice and maybe pepper combination
Tannin: Structured
Finish: Medium - long
Alcohol: 13.8%

A fairly big red to finish off the red wines for the day. Not a bad wine, but it was not of the same calibre as the other wines. Will have to give this a chance when the company is not as outstanding


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1 Brokenwood Semillon

Vintage: 2008
Region: Hunter Valley, Australia
Varietal: Semillon
Colour: Pale Straw
Nose: Zesty Citrus and Lemon
Flavour: Lemon and Citrus
Finish: Medium
Alcohol: 10%

Great example of Hunter Semillon, way to young, but very enjoyable. Another 20 years and this will be impressive (hopefully I will get the chance to try it then!)
2 Murray Street Vineyards Benno

Vintage: 2004
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz, Mataro
Colour: Deep purple
Nose: Pleasant combination of black pepper, spice, eucalyptus and mint
Flavour: Full-Bodied eucalyptus and mint
Tannin: Soft
Finish: Medium - Long
Alcohol: 15%

Smooth, balanced, fun, great wine, really enjoyable, a shame it was my last bottle, as it is still developing. Will have to keep an eye out on the secondary market
3 Rusden Sandscrub

Vintage: 2003
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Varietal: Shiraz
Colour: Deep garnet
Nose: HUGE combination of black pepper, herbal, eucalyptus and spice Aromas
Flavour: Full-Bodied black pepper, French oak, herb
Tannin: Structured
Finish: Long
Alcohol: 15.5

Amazing wine. big and bold, continued to evolve in the glass. Definitely a wine that has a lot of life left in it. Only downside to this wine is its price, but when it is offered by a friend, thanks Robert, it would be rude to say no!
4 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste Grand Cru Classe en 1855

Vintage: 1998
Region: Bordeaux, France
Varietal: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot
Colour: Garnet, dull
Nose: Old leather, cigar and spice
Flavour: French oak, cherry, cigar, quite complex
Tannin: Structured
Finish: Medium - long
Alcohol: 13

The nose of this wine was reserved at first, it quickly opened up, great wine. Generously shared with us by our host Mr / Col Pang of New Ubin Seafood
5 Bass Phillip Crown Prince

Vintage: 2012
Region: Gippsland, Australia
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Colour: Ruby, cloudy
Nose: Spice, plum and cherries
Flavour: Elegant combination of spice and cherries
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Long
Alcohol: 13.1

Enjoyable wine, good example of Victorian Pinot Noir
6 Chateau Le Bon Pasteur

Vintage: 1999
Region: Pomeral, France
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Colour: Deep ruby, still bright and youthful
Nose: Pleasant combination of spice, stone fruit and cold tea
Flavour: Spice and stoned fruit
Tannin: Savoury
Finish: Long
Alcohol: 13.5

Another great wine, paired well with the Tapas, nice long and complex finish
7 Joan D'Anguera Finca L Argata Monstant

Vintage: 2013
Region: Monstant, Spain
Varietal: Grenache
Colour: Bright ruby
Nose: Black pepper and spice, very pleasant
Flavour: Black pepper and spice
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Medium - long
Alcohol: 14

This wine has become a "go to" wine when at La Ventana in Singapore, I always enjoy Garnacha / Grenache, will look for more wines from Monstant
8 Vinyes Domènech Teixar, Garnatxa Vella

Vintage: 2011
Region: Monstant, Spain
Varietal: Grenache
Colour: Bright, deep ruby
Nose: A complex perfume of wild berries and spice
Flavour: Balanced combination of wild berries, mint and spice
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Medium - long
Alcohol: 14.5

Really enjoyed this wine, "bigger" than the Finca, definitely a red meat wine.


October 2015

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1 2009 Grosset Gaia

Colour: Bright, deep garnet
Nose: Balanced combination of herbal, eucalypt, cold tea and mint aromas
Palate: Medium to full bodied, red fruit and wild berry flavours
Tannin: Silky
Finish: Long
Alcohol: 13.5%

Our only red wine of the night. Would have, of course, like to have had the opportunity to have tasted a couple of vintages. This wine is still quite young, but starting to show how good it will be at its peak. Very enjoyable, just pipped at the post by the 2010 Springvale for my wine of the night.


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1 2012 Grosset Adelaide Hills Piccadilly Chardonnay Colour: Youthful, pale straw Nose: Pleasant combination of nutty and lemon aromas Palate: Elegant palate, citrus and lemon flavours Finish: Medium Alcohol: 13.5% I am not a great fan of Chardonnay, but I did enjoy this one. Paired well with the smoked NZ salmon. Only 400 dozen produced.


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1 2012 Grosset Clare Valley Polish Hill Riesling

Colour: Youthful medium straw
Nose: Pleasant with lychee and mineral aromas, plus a slight hint of kerosene
Palate: Complex palate, slightly tart with citrus and lime flavours
Finish: Medium – long
Alcohol: 12.5%

Still very young in Polish Hill terms. Expect this to evolve into a very good example of Clare Valley Polish Hill Riesling with another 10 years or more. Glad I have a few bottles in storage so that I can find out.
3 2014 Grosset Clare Valley Polish Hill Riesling

Colour: Bright, pale straw
Nose: Pleasant citrus and mineral aromas
Palate: Balanced combination with citrus, lime and mineral flavours
Finish: Medium
Alcohol: 12.5%

As with the 2012 this is still a young wine, subtle citrus nose, nice balance. As with all of Grosset Polish Hills, one to watch.
5 2015 Grosset Clare Valley Polish Hill Riesling

Colour: Bright, green straw
Nose: Passionfruit and lychee flavours
Palate: Citrus and lemon flavours, slightly sour
Finish: Short - medium
Alcohol: 12.5%

Great wine to drink now, but will develop into, hopefully, a great wine if you have the patience to wait. Which is why having my wine stored in another country is good idea for me, prevents me from enjoying a wine too early!


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1 2010 Grosset Clare Valley Springvale Riesling

Colour: Youthful light straw
Nose: A pleasant combination of kerosene and mineral aromas
Palate: An elegant palate with lemon, lime and mineral flavours
Finish: Medium – long
Alcohol: 12.5%

This was my pick for wine of the night. Great balance of the kerosene and mineral flavours that I look for in an aged Riesling, balanced palate with a medium to long finish. What “surprised” me was the youthful look of the wine, for a Riesling with this sort of nose and age would have expected the colour to have evolved from straw and to a golden hue. Great wine and an excellent example of Australian Riesling and specifically Clare Valley Springvale.
3 2014 Grosset Clare Valley Springvale Riesling

Colour: Youthful, pale straw
Nose: Closed, citrus and mineral aromas
Palate: A little tart Citrus, Grapefruit and mineral flavours
Finish: Medium
Alcohol: 12.5%

This wine was overly chilled when it was served, which is why the nose was closed and it was a little tart. As it warmed up the nose opened up, but it was still reserved, looking forward to tasting this wine again as it evolves with age. Enjoyable
5 2015 Grosset Clare Valley Springvale Riesling

Colour: Youthful light straw
Nose: Closed, citrus aroma
Palate: Citrus and mineral flavours
Finish: Medium
Alcohol: 12.7%

I enjoyed this wine more than it’s slightly older sibling, it was not tart, balanced combination of citrus and mineral flavours. I expect that this will evolve into a wine a good as, maybe even better, than the 2010. Can’t wait!!


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1 Arlaux Brut NV

Colour: Bright, pale straw with small fine bubbles
Nose: Pleasant nutty lemon aromas
Palate: Lemon / citrus flavours
Finish: Medium to long
Alcohol: 12%

This was the first time I have tried this wine, extremely enjoyable. Would recommend giving this a go!
Courtesy of Wine Exchange Asia:
“Champagne Arlaux is a small family run estate in the tiny Premier Cru hamlet of Vrigny, on the Montagne de Reims. The estate grows just 10 hectares of vines and only grapes from the estate’s own Premier Cru vineyards are used, with a quiet commitment to putting quality first.

Arlaux recently topped the list of all NV champagnes as assessed by Wine Advocate, beating all the big names (Bollinger came in second)”
3 2012 Grosset Adelaide Hills / Clare Valley Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Colour: Bright, pale straw
Nose: Passionfruit and citrus aromas, very pleasant
Palate: Sour, citrus flavours
Finish: Short
Alcohol: 12.5%

I am not an SSB fan, and did not enjoy this wine a bit too sour for my taste. Was definitely better when paired with food, went fairly well with the sardines.


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4 thoughts on “2015 Q4 Wine Reviews By Oz

  • April 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm
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    I agree with you on Klein Constantia – one of the best dessert wines overall. And also I have to say that I tasted a few recent vintages of Chateau Montelena, and it never met my expectations, unfortunately.

    Reply
    • April 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm
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      Must admit my expectations for the Montelena were not high, just happy to try it thanks to the generosity of my friends, so was happy that it was decent

      Reply
    • April 13, 2016 at 5:27 am
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      Also, at the price it is hard to beat.

      Reply

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